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Wintersun - Wintersun CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.76 | 104 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars 4.5 Stars

This album is the brainchild of the former Ensiferum front man Jari Maenpaa, created singlehandedly, except the drums by Kai The Grinder Hahto. Many have compared the band to Children of Bodom or Ensiferum. Many fans of those types of bands would enjoy Wintersun, but few proggers would enjoy those other bands for being prog. However, Wintersun can be enjoyed for being prog. The album is based on Jari's hallucinations, dreams, experiences, life, and concepts. In this album, Jari creates some of the greatest melodies I have heard yet. This album should appeal to a range from Power metal to viking to prog metal audience. Almost all of the dongs are rooted in a 3/4 meter sometimes changing to 4/4 and boarding 6/8.

The songs:

Beyond the Dark Sun:

A short song of 2 minutes and 38 seconds, Do not be fool into believing the entire album is like this song. It is an opener (not a filler) to attract the audience. The song follows a sound linking it to power metal with double bass drum rolls and thrashy second guitar with a rushing melodic first. Not exactly the most proggy of songs, but definitely an enjoyable song to get you in the mood of the album. The music video for this song can give you an idea of the talent behind the musicians. Hahto can be seen giving an impressive show drumming with incredible precision using almost nothing but his wrists, ankles and forelegs, leaving his upper torso unbelievably still.

Winter Madness:

A song of epic speed, rushing through faster than any DragonForce song. The song does not come across as prog unless listened to closely. Meter change, extended solos, technical skill, song structure, are all contributions towards it mostly progressive nature.

Sleeping Stars:

This song takes a step back, leading the beginning with a slower instrumental changing instrument speed between slow and fast with an atmospheric quality created by the slow, folkish chant and supporting keyboard. The song picks up entering the main vocals and intermittent clean backing vocals. This song is the most Scandinavian folk influenced of all on the album. The song is ended by the slow chord progression of keyboard strings that overall drives the song. This song incorporates a greater emotional feel without loosing it integrity of technical ability.

Battle Against Time:

This song immediately starts with a fast paced melody with folk chanting. Jari makes the first line of the song a subtle clean sound that introduces a sensation of adventure into the musical excitement within the song. Thus the song does indeed take you on an adventure of battle and internal struggle and succeeds in taking you into the world created by Jari. This song holds up the sound introduced in this album but has the sense of a battle against time

Death and the Healing:

One of the greatest tracks to ever be introduced into the world of progressive metal. Completely a ballad of epic proportion and melody.The beauty of this song expresses the magic within the lyrics. The lyrics speak of denouement and rising from the ashes to be greater than before. The melody that accompanies these lyrics draw you into a state of majesty and awe. I never experienced a song quite like this, complementary guitars working with the bass, drums, and clean deep vocals to create what amounts to a scene of snowcapped mountains rising above the clouds. The song picks up some speed in the middle allowing an incredibly musical solo of sheer beauty and great contrast within the song. The lyrics are personification of Jari's personal view of his experiences and dreams. If there were any reason to buy this album, that song alone would be it.


A change of pace from the slower Death and the Healing, This song tells a speedy, yet changing song of the inner workings of a humans imagination and all of its possibilities. A single song split into several subsections but all on one track. The song uses many changes of vocal styles between clean and rasping growls. The soul of this song is in the melody, a majestic sound to say the least. The sections change speed and melody but never loosing the core of the song. The keyboard maintains the majestic, starry, theater like feel. The melodies within this song create the sensation which complements the lyrics perfectly.

Beautiful Death:

Perhaps one of the least favorable song on this album, having a greater sound similar to that of black metal and thrash metal. This song has long rolls of double bass drum and thrashing guitars. Lacking the first guitar melody throughout much of the song, the keyboard picks up the slack dropped by the usual first guitar. It also contains a more prominent black metal vocal part than the other songs but still has clean vocals, if darker than the rest. Still an enjoyable song, layered almost as progressively as the others. Considerably more dissonant than all of the other songs on this album. It emanates the title quite effectively. In the end, a male operatic voice haunts the background until fading out with a depressed sounding clean guitar solo.

Sadness and Hate:

My favorite (and final) song on the album, spanning ten minutes. The beginning starts with a clean guitar opening riff introducing the melody. After a minute the distorted guitar, bass, keyboards and drums kick in giving the song its power and true strength. A rasping growl sets an atmospheric setting to the beautiful melody. The instrumental section continues for a few minutes until the vocals enter to tell the story. The harsh vocals continue for a short time until reentering an instrumental section. The instrumental parts are quite large and changing significantly between heavy and clean guitars and are masterfully combined. A much more atmospheric song the most of the others and clean vocal section in the middle creates a beautiful sound blending perfectly with said atmosphere. The variety within this song truly stands out among this albums songs. This song ends with a the keyboard once again playing a slowed version of the main chord progression. Quite a pleasing way to end the album

In conclusion, this album warrants any progressive metal listener's attention and careful consideration. It combines black/viking/clean metal vocals with the soaring melodies and speed of power metal and folkish, majestic atmosphere, and the technical prowess of much progressive metal. All of these considered create a overall well rounded and relatively unique sound. Wintersun is a one of a kind band with no equal despite any bands to which you may compare them.

Skoojoo | 4/5 |


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